Dr.  Farhaan Vahidy, PhDFor Farhaan S. Vahidy, PhD, MBBS, MPH, FAHA, his appointment last summer to dual leadership positions at TIRR Memorial Hermann represents an exciting new chapter in his career-long quest to improve the quality of life for individuals living with disabilities. Dr. Vahidy has been named the associate vice president for research and the chief scientific officer at TIRR Memorial Hermann, a national leader in stroke epidemiology, outcomes and recovery research.

“My appointment provides me with an amazing opportunity to utilize my expertise and experience to lead and grow the outstanding research programs at TIRR Memorial Hermann and enhance its national and global reputation by fostering innovations in care for those with disabling medical conditions and injuries,” he says.

Dr. Vahidy developed his passion for research after beginning his career in emergency and trauma medicine at the turn of the century. He served for more than a decade as an emergency medicine physician for the naval and armed forces in Pakistan and the Middle East before embarking on his quest to make a deeper impact on humanity.

“Although it was very rewarding to treat and save the lives of those under my care, I found myself longing to make a broader impact on the practice of medicine and the betterment of health for humankind,” Dr. Vahidy notes.

This prompted him to move in a new direction: He began to redesign his career by focusing on public health. “I was fascinated by public health, among other things. It introduced me to the fields of clinical research and data science as ways of studying treatment outcomes and wide-ranging factors such as the social determinants of health that influence the risk of disease, the outcomes of disease and broader wellness of populations,” Dr. Vahidy explains.

He became enamored with exploring and developing solutions to health and health care issues that make large-scale improvements in patient outcomes—to the extent that he decided to dedicate his career to the synthesis of new knowledge by specializing in research and data science.

For the past 13 years, Dr. Vahidy has led a wide range of research programs, big data enterprises and quality-of-care initiatives focused on the neurological consequences of COVID-19 and neurological diseases such as stroke, brain hemorrhage, cerebrovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, first at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston and later at Houston Methodist.

Dr. Vahidy is an ardent proponent of developing robust learning in health care systems. “Being able to conduct, test and validate research that leads to improved outcomes, enriched experiences and enhanced quality of life for patients and their caregivers is extremely rewarding,” he says. “The process that creates new knowledge leading to the development, implementation and validation of evidence-based interventions is the embodiment of a learning health care system.”

Another hallmark of Dr. Vahidy’s career has been his passionate dedication to developing, educating and mentoring the next generation of clinical researchers and data scientists. “I have been fortunate to have received the highest levels of education, advanced training at world renowned institutions and enriching global experiences. I have walked over the bridge connecting the clinical enterprise to a research and innovation world,” he notes. “Dedicated mentoring that is solely driven by passion of developing and enabling clinical research careers is truly a selfless act of giving back and leaving a legacy—a legacy that will continue beyond one’s individual influence in ensuring that population health and patient outcomes and experiences perpetually remain the center of our value systems.”

Over the past decade, Dr. Vahidy has:

  • Served on the faculty at UTHealth Houston, Houston Methodist and Weill Cornell Medical College in the departments of neurology, neurosurgery, population health, data sciences and evidence-based medicine; Authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications on cerebrovascular disease, stroke, population health, health care disparities, COVID-19 and other clinical domains;
  • Led federal and industry-funded research in outcomes, recovery and rehabilitation for patients with stroke and/or cerebrovascular diseases;
  • Created training programs and directed coursework in advanced research methods and data analytics for neurology residents, vascular neurology fellows and clinical faculty at the institutional and national levels;
  • Mentored graduate students and doctoral-level professionals;
  • Participated in a leadership program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health in which he educates and mentors junior clinical investigators about stroke and cerebrovascular disease; and
  • Led the development of research programs in cerebrovascular disease and COVID-19 based on the principles of learning health care systems fueled by big data and analytics pipelines.

In addition to his professional strengths in research and data science, Dr. Vahidy brings extensive leadership experience to TIRR Memorial Hermann. “During this time of momentous change and transformation, it’s vital to have exceptional, forward-thinking leaders at all levels of health care,” he says.

In his new positions, Dr. Vahidy will be focused on setting the direction and research agenda for the organization, improving patient outcomes and amplifying TIRR Memorial Hermann’s national and global leadership in rehabilitation and research.

Dr. Vahidy also believes in applying the principles of research to health care operations and envisions leading TIRR Memorial Hermann to be a learning health care organization across all facets of operations, clinical care, research and innovation.

“This means challenging the status quo and exploring new ideas, continually evaluating everything we do with a focus on improving patient experiences and outcomes, identifying process improvement opportunities and utilizing validated big data pipelines and analytics to measure performance. And we will do all this within an environment of caring and support for our patients and team members,” he emphasizes.

Given his professional background and clinical interests, Dr. Vahidy says the opportunity to lead TIRR Memorial Hermann is the “perfect fit” for him at this point in his career.

“It is like several pieces of a puzzle coming together at just the right time,” he adds. “I am honored and humbled to take on this challenge, which fulfills my career-long ambition to make the broadest and deepest possible impact in the field of medicine and enhance the care and rehabilitation of individuals living with disabilities.”


Fellowship in Clinical Research, 2019
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Mass.

PhD, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, 2014
UTHealth Houston School of Public Health
Houston, Texas

MPH, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, 2007
University of Health Sciences
Lahore, Pakistan

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, 1996
Quaid-e-Azam University
Islamabad, Pakistan

Winter 2024 Edition
US News and World Report Best Hospitals Badge
Nationally Ranked Rehabilitation

For the 34th consecutive year, TIRR Memorial Hermann is recognized as the best rehabilitation hospital in Texas and No. 4 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report's "Best Rehabilitation Hospitals" in America.

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